Whereas the graphics are simply a slightly improved version of the PSX game, the actual gameplay of Spider-Man
for the Dreamcast is straight from the other two versions. That means the same core problem is still here--that damned camera--but with slightly tighter controls and sharper graphics, this is definitely the best version of the game yet.
The storyline of Spider-Man is straight from comic-book world, starting off with Spider-Man breaking in and stealing technology, even as Peter Parker watches along. There's something fishy going on from the get-go, and soon Spidey's webbing his way around New York, stopping bank heists, super-villains, and encountering his favoritest super-villain of all, Venom. Discovering the storyline is part of the draw of the game, so I'll leave the rest up to you.
The game itself consists of a variety of different levels, each making use of some of Spidey's inherent skills. Unlike all of the other Spider-Man based games, the Neversoft Spider-Man games finally give gamers what they've always wanted: the ability to climb buildings, sling webs, and in general be a sneaky spider instead of the straight fighting games that we generally had before.
And, for the most part, it works well. The levels are quite varied, from swinging across the rooftops to the inevitable boss fights to some segments that are reminiscent of Metal Gear Solid in terms of stealth. And while a great deal of time is spent on the roofs of New York, you're generally doing different things there--chasing Venom, trying not to get blown up, and so on.
Fighting is simple, and controlling Spider-Man as he crawls around is pretty easy too. There are some camera issues that will undoubtedly drive you mad when you first start playing, but they're managable, if not still frustrating. The controls also seem sharper than in the N64 version that I reviewed earlier. Spidey didn't cling to things as badly, making my life easier in boss fights, and the various commands you need to execute to use the webbing were sharper on the Dreamcast controller. But the core gameplay is the same.
To be honest, the game still feels a little detached--as fun as it is, there's a feeling of gimmickness in some of the levels, like the developers had a good idea and threw it in 'because they could'. It's not the sort of thing that most people would even care about, but it did strike me as hurting the general cohesiveness of the game.